KLCC celebrates 20 years of Dead Air
KLCC 89.7 celebrates 20 years of Dead Air this Thursday at Cozmic Pizza with a concert by Cast of Clowns, featuring Craig Wright, Melvin Seals, Bobby Vega and Greg Anton.
Tickets are $12. Doors open at 8 p.m.; music starts at 9 p.m.
Dead Air has been on KLCC since 1991, but the show's history runs even deeper.
Here's the story of this long strange trip.
Back in the day, and many hundreds of concerts ago, Downtown Deb was living in New York City.
She brought a broken transistor radio into a repair shop one day and met a kind and interesting stranger. He was Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the Bear. At that time, he was also the Grateful Dead's sound man. He offered to try to fix the radio. He did so, right there on the spot, and mentioned that he worked for a rock and roll band.
Since that band was playing a few local shows he asked if she'd like to go. That band was the Grateful Dead and soon after Deb left the east coast for the Bay Area.
For several years she helped with office work for the band, became one of the Gratedul Dead family, and later moved to Eugene in 1983.
In 1986, the original Dead Air radio show in Garberville, Calif., went off the air. The show was the creation of Grateful Dead soundman Dan Healy, studio producer and concert sound mixer, whose board tapes were the core of its programming. Dan kindly allowed Deb the use of the name to carry on the tradition.
Deb got in touch with a favorite radio station in Eugene and mentioned her collection of quality soundboard recordings of the Grateful Dead. They decided she was the genuine article, and the rest is history.
After being on and off several commercial stations in the Eugene area for five years, Dead Air found a home on KLCC in 1991.
Deb has a vast array of music from the Guardians of the Vault, recent releases and much more, and the privileged access she enjoys is reflected in the quality of her show.
The Dead's music goes anywhere and everywhere including rock, folk, blues, jazz, world, contemporary, and improvisational. On Dead Air, Deb plays obscure, rare, and excellent selections from the band's 30 year history, plus Jerry Garcia Band, Furthur, Bob Weir & Ratdog, and much more. She accommodates listener requests whenever possible and sometimes focuses the show on a special tribute or theme. Her philosophy is "more music, less rap" and lets the music speak for itself. Since the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, Dead Air has become even more essential as a gathering place for the extended community of listeners throughout western and central Oregon -- and now to all corners of the world on www.klcc.org. Dead Air continues to be a reliable and quality resource of music.
Deb continues to share her own vast collection of recordings and also keeps listeners informed as to any information about band members and their ongoing "long strange trip."
As Deb would say, "Take good care."